In September, an official from the Libra Association said that the Facebook Libra project could be delayed by a few months. However, the Ripple CEO is not as optimistic. During a recent interview, he claimed that the project could be delayed by years. In his opinion, he foresees the project launching in 2023 if it ever launches.
What Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse Said –
According to Garlinghouse, the project will not come to fruition for a while. He also cast down on Facebook’s model for a crypto coin. In his opinion, the regulatory backlash that the project has faced makes launching the project impossible.
It is worth noting that while he was initially enthusiastic about the project, Ripple has not signed up to be part of the Libra Association. The project wants to make it possible for users to send and receive funds between each other without going through a bank. While Ripple and Facebook’s digital currency models are not in competition with each other, they may become competitors in the future. Facebook is targeting the retail side of crypto ( Facebook users ) , while Ripple is targeting enterprise users ( financial institutions ) , but this may change down the road as we most recently saw Bitpay adding support for XRP.
PayPal has already pulled out of the project due to the regulatory pressure that the project is facing, although they have said they might rejoin the project in the future. This move by a major partner of the project has cast further doubt on whether Facebook Libra will ever launch.
When Facebook Libra was announced, lawmakers swung into action and expressed serious doubts about how consumer data would be handled. This was after Facebook was fined by US regulators for mishandling user data during the US presidential election. The issue of user data concerns itself could grind the project to a halt.
According to Garlinghouse, lawmakers would have been less apprehensive about the project if Facebook had not been leading the project. He noted that just before the launch, Facebook was already under scrutiny from lawmakers globally. While Facebook has made it clear they will not launch the project without regulatory approval, the Ripple CEO isn’t bullish on the project going live anytime soon. If it does, he believes it is going to be a very tough process.
Ripple Has Faced Regulatory Scrutiny As Well
In the past, Ripple’s XRP has also come under regulatory scrutiny. The main issue has been whether the XRP cryptocurrency is a security. This would cause the digital currency to come under more scrutiny by the SEC. The SEC has come down hard on the crypto industry. It recently fined the company behind EOS millions of dollars after it failed to adhere to the strict laws that govern securities in the US.
The Ripple CEO claimed that such a fate would not befall Ripple since their relationship to XRP is different from that of the company that launched EOS. For instance, he noted that XRP was created before Ripple was formed. He noted that Ripple was only a company with an interest in the success of XRP which also happened to own many XRP coins.
Why Brad Garlinghouse ( Ripple CEO ) Is Probably Right
Brad has been involved in the tech / financial space much longer than Mark Zuckerberg. If we take a step back and assess the legal team at Ripple, it’s arguably some of the most notable lawyers around that influence Brad and his team. Brad has most likely received a lot of feedback from his legal team on Libra, as it’s been a very hot topic in cryptocurrency. Aside from all the privacy issues Facebook has experienced, that would be peanuts compared to their goal with Libra. Transacting cryptocurrency around the globe and introducing billions of users is a whole new ball game. At this point, Ripple CEO is probably content with the route Ripple has taken. Instead of starting on the retail side with billions of users, they started at the enterprise level which is much more focused. This gives them the ability to focus on specific clients opposed to billions. This has resulted in Ripple having the ability to perform “pilots” with financial institutions and focus on regulatory framework, a whole different arena than Facebook Libra.
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